A Bovine Round-Up

Our last post looked at turkeys, since it was just before Thanksgiving. (Hope you all had a lovely holiday, by the way!) This week, continuing with the agriculture theme, I thought we’d look at some books about bovines and milk products. We have a couple of particularly unique new items on the subject that just arrived, but they aren’t back from cataloging just yet–and both deserves a post all their own–so stay tuned. In the meantime…

Some books focus a little less on the cows as cows and more about how to feed, care for, and profit from the animals. The Book of Ensilage: Or, The New Dispensation for Farmers : Experience with “Ensilage” at “Winning Farm”. How to Produce Milk for One Cent Per Quart ; Butter for 10 Cents Per Pound ; Beef for Four Cents Per Pound ; Mutton for Nothing If Wool Is Thirty Cents Per Pound, from 1881, is just that!

The Book of Ensilage; or, The New Dispensation for Farmers, 1881

The Book of Ensilage; or, The New Dispensation for Farmers, 1881
This image includes directions for how to layout a dairy barn that would contain cows, as well as feed storage.

Some books are detailed (text-heavy) accounts of various breeds, their characteristics and classifications, milk production, etc. Guenon’s work, Guenon on Milch Cows. A Treatise upon the Bovine Species in General, went through several editions (including this 1883 edition), which were translated into English along the way.

Guenon on Milch Cows. A Treatise upon the Bovine Species in General, 1883Guenon on Milch Cows. A Treatise upon the Bovine Species in General, 1883

One of my favorites is Jacob Biggle’s Biggle Cow Book; Old Time and Modern Cow-Lore Rectified, Concentrated and Recorded for the Benefit of Man from 1913. This book combines technical and practical advice, along with color and black and white images. It includes chapters on everything from feeding cows, creamery design, and cow products (and by-products).

Not all our books on cows are strictly agricultural education, either! Some of them are just for kids! This storybook for children, Mr. Meyer’s Cow, talks about cows and milk production. It is part of the Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and Nutrition Literature Collection.

As you can see, when it comes to bovines, we’re pretty diverse, from professional to amateur, and from farmer to children. As always, this just scratches the surface. If you’re looking for more historical approaches to cows, or simply curious to find some bovine trivia, be sure to come by. We’ll help you milk the collection for all its worth!

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